WBEZ | justin bieber http://www.wbez.org/tags/justin-bieber Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en So you want to be a famous musician? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-05/so-you-want-be-famous-musician-107318 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/TYSEGALL.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px; " title="File: Garage rocker Ty Segall. (L.A. Record/Rachel Carr)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">On May 15, prolific noise rocker <a href="http://ty-segall.com" target="_blank">Ty Segall</a> announced that he will be releasing a&nbsp;<a href="http://pitchfork.com/news/50747-ty-segall-announces-new-album-sleeper/" target="_blank">new album</a>&nbsp;this August&nbsp;called <em>Sleeper</em>: his seventh solo record and first 2013 addition to an impressive discography of over <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ty_Segall#Discography" target="_blank">35 releases</a>&nbsp;(both solo and collaborative) since 2005.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But while some people idolize the 26-year-old <a href="http://pitchfork.com/features/cover-story/8996-ty-segall/" target="_blank">garage-punk prodigy</a>&nbsp;from San Francisco&nbsp;(his name was even <a href="https://twitter.com/HeyWhoreHey_/status/334700628720889856" target="_blank">trending on Twitter</a>&nbsp;on the day of his announcement via Pitchfork), others still have no idea who he is.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Segall exists in an odd bubble of half-fame and half-obscurity, in which he can play to sold-out venues across the country and still hang out in local record stores without being bothered too much. Unfortunately, most aspiring rock stars won&#39;t even get that far.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p>The digital age is both a blessing and a curse for modern-day musicians. Websites like YouTube and Kickstarter can equal big business for artists, as online campaigns allow them to reach out to their fans directly via socia networking and potentially become viral sensations overnight.</p><p>On the other hand, free music streaming sites like Spotify and Pandora provide little financial yield for the musicians themselves (<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2012/09/26/161758720/how-musicians-make-money-by-the-fraction-of-a-cent-on-spotify" target="_blank">$0.004 per play</a>&nbsp;if you&#39;re unsigned) and cannot be relied upon to cover the ever-mounting costs of travel, instruments and gear, recording sessions and software, album distribution and any additional publicity required to become a household name.&nbsp;</p><p>Also, it should be noted that unless you&#39;re playing sold-out ampitheatres รก la Paul McCartney and Justin Bieber, ticket sales won&#39;t net you a fortune either.</p><p>Lots of musicians get a jumpstart due to wealth or family connections, like when Taylor Swift&#39;s <a href="http://tasteofcountry.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-taylor-swift-2/" target="_blank">investment broker </a>father spent millions of dollars to finance her first album in 2006 and when Lana Del Rey&#39;s<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lana_Del_Rey" target="_blank"> millionare parents </a>bought her out of one contract to sign her with another more lucrative label for instant stardom in 2011. &nbsp;</p><p>Does it depress you that Kelly Osbourne (daughter of Ozzy) got a record deal to sing <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DunbWiCEvgU" target="_blank">horrible Madonna covers</a>, while scores of other truly talented bands and artists have dwindled into obscurity? Unfortunately, this kind of gross nepotism runs rampant in the music business today (see Jann Wenner putting his <a href="http://gawker.com/jann-wenners-kid-is-the-new-head-of-rollingstone-com-508921163" target="_blank">22-year-old son</a>&nbsp;in charge of RollingStone.com) and in most other areas of the entertainment industry as well.&nbsp;</p><p>So, how do artists <a href="http://stereogum.com/1218552/deconstructing-how-can-indie-musicians-break-even/top-stories/lead-story/" target="_blank">make money</a> when they don&#39;t already have the money to spend?</p><ul><li><strong>Selling merch: </strong>Retail&nbsp;CDs, vinyl, t-shirts, buttons, stickers, lighters, koozies and other creative items that are cheap to buy in bulk (and thus more likely to turn a profit).</li><li><strong>Campaigning on Kickstarter:&nbsp;</strong>Need some extra cash for your next album or tour? This popular crowd-funding site is worth a shot (hey, it worked for Amanda Palmer!)</li><li><strong>Dominating YouTube:&nbsp;</strong>Racking up views on this global channel could not only catch the attention of a major record label, but also garner you up to $1,500 per one million streams from&nbsp;advertising and/or corporate sponsorships.&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Making a deal with iTunes: </strong>Independent artists usually see the most revenue from their albums via iTunes digital downloads. Full album downloads at roughly $9.99 could add up quickly, especially as you build your fanbase through touring and social-networking around the world.&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Getting your song on a TV show:&nbsp;</strong>Start making those L.A. connections, because licensing fees for even just a small clip of one of your songs on a show like <em>Breaking Bad&nbsp;</em>could amount to a cool $250,000-$600,000 paycheck.</li></ul><p>Many relatively well-known musicians <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/apr/23/nick-hemming-music-day-job" target="_blank">still keep their day jobs</a>; not surprising, considering that the average musician makes only <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/musicians-income_n_1719908.html" target="_blank">$34,000</a>&nbsp;off their music in America each year&nbsp;<em>before</em> deducting expenses from touring, recording, etc. (which, given the rising prices of gas and fancy recording software, can wrack up quite the bill).</p><p>Even Pitchfork-famous indie artists like Grizzly Bear and Cat Power&nbsp;<a href="http://stereogum.com/1218552/deconstructing-how-can-indie-musicians-break-even/top-stories/lead-story/" target="_blank">have struggled to make ends meet</a>; so be&nbsp;practical about the pros and cons of a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/11/how-musicians-really-make-money-in-one-long-graph/249267/" target="_blank">musician&#39;s lifestyle</a>&nbsp;before committing to it full-time.</p><p>If you&#39;re only making music for the money, then you should get out now. But if you truly love what you do&mdash;and don&#39;t mind riding in a smelly tour bus, starting out in tiny venues and living off Ramen noodles for months (or years) until you get your big break&mdash;then ignore the haters and keep rockin&#39; on.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Leah writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter </a>or <a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com" target="_blank">Tumblr</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 23 May 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-05/so-you-want-be-famous-musician-107318 Rihanna, Bieber and the dangers of celebrity worship http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-03/rihanna-bieber-and-dangers-celebrity-worship-106255 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rihanna-barrington-high-032213-600x337.jpg" title="Rihanna speaks to students at Barrington High School on Friday, March 23, after arriving nearly 4 hours late. (Celebuzz)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">The gymnasium of Barrington High School exploded with <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/barrington_area/chi-rihanna-barrington-high-school-20130322,0,5100849.story" target="_blank">Beatlemania</a>-like screams on Friday as <a href="http://www.mtv.com/artists/rihanna/" target="_blank">Rihanna</a>, pop princess of the Billboard charts and racy queen of the tabloids, made her grand entrance.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Never mind that she was over three hours late, a delay she attributed to &quot;<a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2297876/Rihanna-holds-2-000-Chicago-school-children-hours--stays-just-12-minutes.html" target="_blank">Chicago traffic</a>&quot; in an Instagram photo she posted just an hour prior. The meet-and-greet for students who had won a video contest about &quot;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/barrington_area/chi-rihanna-barrington-high-school-20130322,0,5100849.story" target="_blank">giving back to your community</a>&quot; was obviously low on Rihanna&#39;s priority list, as she offered &quot;thanks for waiting&quot; non-apology to the 2,500 person crowd--the majority of them young girls--and stayed for only 12 minutes.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Fans grew disgruntled waiting for Rihanna to arrive, deeming her behavior &quot;<a href="http://chicagoist.com/2013/03/23/rihanna_visits_barrington_high_scho.php" target="_blank">rude</a>&quot; and <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2013/03/23/rihanna_visits_barrington_high_scho.php" target="_blank">pathetic</a>.&quot; However,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.celebuzz.com/2013-03-23/riri-tardy-for-the-high-school-party/" target="_blank">most were quick to forgive her</a>&nbsp;when she finally showed up. &nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;It was a really long wait, but Rihanna is so inspirational,&quot; freshman Batul Yawer told the <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/19029873-761/barrington-students-shine-during-3-hour-wait-for-rihanna.html" target="_blank"><em>Chicago Sun Times</em></a>.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/021212-justinbieber.jpg" style="width: 320px; float: right; " title="Justin takes a selfie on an audience member's phone. (SugarScape)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Yeesh.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">What do these teens find &quot;so inspirational&quot; about Rihanna? Sure, she caught the attention of hitmaker Jay Z in 2004, and with the help of some very talented songwriters, churned out <a href="http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/rihanna-equals-madonnas-record-of-number-1450160" target="_blank">12 num</a><a href="http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/rihanna-equals-madonnas-record-of-number-1450160" target="_blank">ber one singles</a>&nbsp;to tie Madonna&#39;s record. However, the 24-year-old singer is also famous for <a href="http://hollywoodlife.com/2012/04/20/rihanna-drugs-use-coachella-cocaine-weed-pic/" target="_blank">rolling drugs</a> on her bodyguard&#39;s head,&nbsp;<a href="http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/11/23/rihanna-apologizes-to-press-for-grueling-777-plane-tour/" target="_blank">acting erratically</a>&nbsp;on several occasions and, perhaps most disturbingly,&nbsp;returning to <a href="http://www.vibe.com/article/chris-brown-rihanna-confirms-we-are-back-together" target="_blank">boyfriend/abuser</a> Chris Brown after he was convicted of physically assaulting her in 2009.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Of course, everbody makes mistakes, and even chart-topping royalty like Rihanna should not held to standards unattainable by mortal beings. But her questionable conduct in the public eye (irresponsible at best, nihilistic at worst) sets a horrible example for her young fans to follow: be a bad girl, behave unprofessionally,&nbsp;<a href="http://gawker.com/5960967/the-new-rihannachris-brown-duet-is-great-unfortunately" target="_blank">record a love song</a>&nbsp;with the man that punched you in the face and <a href="http://www.justjared.com/2013/02/04/rihanna-dont-call-me-a-bad-role-model/" target="_blank">make no apologies</a> for it.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Fans also cling with troubling rabidity to one <a href="http://bieberfever.com">Justin Bieber</a>, pop singer and babe magnet extraordinaire. His tween devotees (they call themselves &quot;Beliebers&quot;) have&nbsp;slammed him with false&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1673747/justin-bieber-paternity-suit.jhtml" target="_blank">paternity suits</a> just to get his attention, issued death threats to his now ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez and<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/cut4bieber-trending-topic-draws-shock-outrage-article-1.1235624" target="_blank"> threatened to cut themselves</a> over his alleged drug use.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Bieber is a talented-enough kid, but this whirlwind of insanity around a 19-year-old who frequently throws temper tantrums (he had the &quot;<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/mar/04/justin-bieber-worst-birthday-club" target="_blank">worst birthday</a>&quot; ever, you guys) and doesn&#39;t even know how to spell &quot;<a href="http://wzlx.cbslocal.com/2013/03/13/5-things-justin-bieber-could-learn-from-janis-joplin/" target="_blank">Janis Joplin</a>&quot; is downright terrifying.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The hero-worship of athletes is also way over the top. From high school to college to professional leagues, sports stars are showered with inconceivable amounts of money and praise. The greats (Michael Jordan, Tom Brady and even the recently<a href="http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1966486,00.html" target="_blank"> scandalized</a> Tiger Woods) are revered as gods. But besides being masters of their game, what have they really done to better society as a whole?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" on="" pbs.="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Gloria%20Steinem.jpg" style="height: 240px; width: 320px; float: left; " title="Gloria Steinem circa 1972, featured in the PBS documentary 'Makers: Women Who Make America.' (USAToday) " />Some of my role models are actors and musicians; however, they also possess many qualities outside the realms of &quot;acting&quot; and &quot;singing&quot; &nbsp;that I hold in high regard. I look up to these people not just because of their talent, but because of how they carry themselves through the world.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-massa/four-reasons-millennial-w_b_863420.html" target="_blank">Tina Fey</a> inspires me as a writer, feminist and whip-smart businesswoman. I admire Andrew Bird for being a positive influence on other aspiring musicians through the <a href="https://rockforkids.ejoinme.org/?tabid=221218" target="_blank">Andrew Bird Scholarship Fund</a>&nbsp;for Chicago arts programs. Many more of my role models are featured in the PBS documentary <a href="http://www.pbs.org/makers/home/" target="_blank"><em>Makers</em></a>, which chronicles over 50 years of trailblazing American women: from Hillary Rodham Clinton to Maya Angelou to the original leader of the feminist movement, the incomparable Gloria Steinem.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Outside of the entertainment industry, I implore our nation&#39;s youth to look to the people in their own communities for inspiration. Our life-changing teachers, nurses, neighbors, social workers, mentors, counselors, close family and friends are the true unsung heroes of our society; never to receive the same widespread media coverage as Rihanna and Justin Bieber, but always the ones whom we should value the most.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Who are your role models? Leave a comment below, tweet&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>&nbsp;or join the conversation on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>.&nbsp;</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 25 Mar 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-03/rihanna-bieber-and-dangers-celebrity-worship-106255 The Teddy Wayne Interview http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/teddy-wayne-interview-105950 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Teddy%20Wayne%20-%20color%202013.jpg" style="float: right; height: 358px; width: 300px;" title="Author photo: Christine Mladic" />I bet if an even younger version of Justin Bieber came along, everyone would be incredibly annoyed, but in fictional form he&#39;s poignant and sad, as written by today&#39;s interviewee, the author of <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Love-Song-Jonny-Valentine/dp/1476705852">The Love Song of Jonny Valentine</a>. </em></div><p>The novel examines the insular life of a little boy who has to grapple with the knowledge that the millions of people who love him have no idea who he his while coming of age as he&#39;s being raised by a tough mom-ager. Wayne is a frequent contributor to other publications (including <em>The New Yorker) </em>and is also the author of the novel <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061873217?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=tedway-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0061873217">Kapitoil</a></em>. You can learn a lot more about him <a href="http://teddywayne.com/index.html">here</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>How did you ensure a level of believability for an 11-year-old kid (aside from marketing speak?) What changes did you make throughout the process to make sure that it was accurate?</strong><br />In the earliest pages, his voice was a touch too infantile&mdash;an overreliance on slang like &ldquo;fav,&rdquo; for instance. Instead of focusing on a wholly diminished vocabulary, I decided to make Jonny&rsquo;s grammar and sentence structures more kidlike; run-on phrasings, consistent (and subtle) syntax errors, as well as specific diction that he returns to.</p><p><strong>What were some alternate covers suggested for the book? How did the current one get decided?</strong><br />The current one is all I saw at first, though my publisher later floated a few alternates. But I was sold from the start on the reflective holographic foil, which is a perfect tongue-in-cheek self-critical design: a novel about the glitzy packaging of art is itself wrapped in a glitzy package.</p><p><strong>Similarly, were there other names you considered for Jonny Valentine?</strong><br />The book&rsquo;s first germ of inspiration was as a parody of pop-star autobiographies, and in that version (I wrote one chapter, which later became the <em>New Yorker </em>Shouts &amp; Murmurs piece Jonny reads about himself), the protagonist is named Tyler Beats&mdash;which would eventually become the megastar whom Jonny attempts to emulate. Once I threw out the parody and started over as a novel, Jonny Valentine came to me early on.</p><p><strong>What other research did you do for the book? Did you read any child star biographies?</strong><br />I read a number of autobiographies&mdash;from Drew Barrymore&rsquo;s and Tatum O&rsquo;Neal&rsquo;s&mdash;as well as biographies and critical books on Jackie Coogan (the first American child star in movies) to Michael Jackson. And then I read the more superficial pop-star autobiographies I was initially trying to parody, such as Miley Cyrus&rsquo;s and Justin Bieber&rsquo;s, along with celebrity gossip publications, both teen- and adult-oriented.</p><p><strong>What did you learn along the way about the relationship fans have with their pop idols? Did you hear from any Beliebers (or recovering adults who would have been Beliebers in their day?)</strong><br />A number of adults reminisced about being crazed fans of David Cassidy and the like. And owing to the confusion and strangeness of the Internet, a few Beliebers started following Jonny&rsquo;s Twitter account, <a href="https://twitter.com/TheRealJonny">@TheRealJonny</a>, and some Tweeted at me, asking, for example, if I love chocolate as much as they do and telling me they&rsquo;re passionate about my music. It&rsquo;s unclear who is being pranked.</p><p><strong>Either from a musical perspective or just because you like them in general, who are some of your favorite teenybopper acts now or from yore?</strong><br />I confess to liking One Direction&rsquo;s &ldquo;What Makes You Beautiful&rdquo; and Miley Cyrus&rsquo;s &ldquo;Party in the USA.&rdquo; If you go back further, I like a lot more, especially from the 1950s&mdash;Frankie Lymon, to name one, is as good as it gets.</p><p><strong>Have you considered setting any of Jonny&rsquo;s lyrics to music? I wonder, though, how much music like his starts with a hook and then the lyrics come in as an afterthought.</strong><a href="http://www.themorningnews.org/article/when-writers-sing"><br />I recorded a version of his hit song &ldquo;Guys vs. Girls&rdquo;</a> and posted it at The Morning News. Fortunately, I also asked Alina Simone, a real singer-songwriter (and novelist), to do her own, superior version as well.</p><p><strong>What posters did you have on your wall when you were a kid?</strong><br />I&rsquo;ve never been much of an interior decorator, so my room was fairly poster-less, save a New York Mets poster. I didn&rsquo;t really get into music until I was about 17, when I started listening to, among others, the Clash (which Jonny is exposed to by his opening band), and then I ranged much further afield in college.</p><p><strong>What were some of the biggest surprises you encountered during your time at the Grammys?</strong><br />I went with nominee <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/my-day-at-the-grammys-with-hunter-hayes-20130215">Hunter Hayes and wrote about it for <em>Rolling Stone</em></a>, and I was impressed by how deftly he handled the constant scrutiny, particularly the interviews. The red-carpet gauntlet has dozens of TV crews looking for sound bites, and it requires tremendous fortitude and grace to negotiate it well. I couldn&rsquo;t do it.</p><p><strong>What do you listen to while you work?</strong><br />Music I know well, so that I&rsquo;m not distracted, but I&rsquo;ll sometimes use Pandora. A lot of Bob Dylan, historically.</p><p><strong>What&rsquo;s the process like when it comes to publishing humor in the New Yorker? I&rsquo;m about whether the editing/revision process is similar to nonfiction or fiction or if it&rsquo;s a whole different ball of wax.</strong><br />Generally, with publications anywhere, there&rsquo;s not much editing when it comes to a humor piece, because if it&rsquo;s not working, it&rsquo;s simply not working. They might ask me to tighten up a thing or two, but it&rsquo;s always accepted after the piece has already been written, and if it requires too much revision, it probably means it&rsquo;s not meant to be.</p><p><strong>What does one do with a fellowship?</strong><br />You just hope someone will quote Young MC to you: &ldquo;Come sit next to me, you fine fellow.&rdquo; And it never happens.</p><p><strong>How does it feel to be the 341st person interviewed for Zulkey.com?</strong><br />Exactly how it feels to be a cast member of the movie &ldquo;300&rdquo; and to be George H.W. Bush, whose nickname within the clan is &ldquo;41.&rdquo; I feel sorry for whoever is 343, since they&rsquo;ll be more like W.</p><p><i>Editor&#39;s note: Wayne is actually 340, due to my problems counting. D&#39;oh. Don&#39;t let that take away from the cleverness of his first answer. </i></p></p> Fri, 08 Mar 2013 08:51:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/teddy-wayne-interview-105950